A cycle plan recommending $12 million be spent on building new cycle ways over the next three years is expected has been recommended for inclusion in the Long Term Plan.
The cycle plan is a Tauranga City Council response to numbers that show while Tauranga is relatively flat and has mostly good cycling weather, most consider it too dangerous – an opinion backed up by accident statistics.
In Tauranga people on bikes are over represented in crashes involving deaths and serious injuries, according to figures in the draft Tauranga Cycle Plan recommended for approval by the Transport Committee.
Figures from travel surveys show trips by bikes make up just one per cent of total transport trips in Tauranga, but people on bikes are involved in 13 per cent of total crashes resulting in deaths and serious injuries.
Tauranga has the highest car use of any city in New Zealand with around 91 per cent of trips to work being made by private motor vehicle.
Congestion is getting so bad that at least 14 per cent of commuters are going to have to be riding bikes by 2031, just to be able to keep the travel times on the roads at ‘reasonable levels’.
The acknowledged problem is many people don’t feel safe riding bikes in Tauranga and safety concerns are putting people off starting to ride bikes.
Lack of physical protection from traffic on busy roads is people’s biggest safety concern.
The plan proposes to create priority cycle ways across the city on an area by area basis starting with the Mount Maunganui, Omanu, Arataki areas.
In each investment area the council staff and contractors intend to continuously upgrade priority cycle ways that connect to work and education activities until a comprehensive network is completed.